A Camberwell man and his girlfriend have been convicted of murdering her stepfather in what was likely a “prolonged and cruel attack”.
Juned Sheikh, 48, and Surie Suksiri, 31, of Highbury, were found guilty of murdering Frank McKeever, 63, following a trial at The Old Bailey on Tuesday, November 7.
The pair were also convicted of preventing a lawful burial.
Police never found McKeever’s body. The prosecution instead hinged on Suksiri admitting to an undercover police officer that she and Sheikh were involved in his death.
Suksiri claimed her stepfather had sexually abused her as a child. Before murdering him, she even filmed him apparently admitting to the abuse in a video confession.
But police said no formal allegations had been made against Mr McKeever and that they found “no evidence” this was true over the course of their investigation.
Emma Currie, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “What we do know is that Surie Suksiri and Juned Sheikh killed him in a calculated and cold-hearted way.”
According to the CPS, the pair “lured” the McKeever to their flat on Saturday, August, 2021 – the last time he was seen alive.
People who were due to meet Mr McKeever became concerned about his safety when there was no sign of him and reported him missing to police on September 9, 2021.
Police launched an investigation. Suksiri was first arrested on September 28, 2021, and Sheikh was first arrested on October 1, 2021.
However, the pair were released under investigation while police continued their enquiries.
Police would soon find out that, little over an hour after he arrived, Suksiri had shared a video on WhatsApp of her stepfather making an apparent confession to sexually assaulting her when she was a young girl.
At the beginning of the video, Suksiri could be heard saying “start”. The CPS said this indicated the video was orchestrated and directed with her involvement.
During the course of the investigation into the disappearance, the CPS said it came to light that there may well have been a disagreement between Mr McKeever and the defendants about his council house.
The disagreement the CPS said revolved around whether he might ‘swap his residence with another family member.’
Police said they had a breakthrough when Suksiri told a witness that she and Sheikh had “battered the f*ck” out of McKeever before buying a car and disposing of his body “eighty miles” outside of London.
Suksiri would also admit to an undercover police officer that she had been involved in McKeever’s death and effectively claimed that she was the mastermind.
She said she’d told her partner what to do and advised him to be careful to avoid leaving forensic evidence behind.
The police said this led them to believe that McKeever had suffered a prolonged and cruel attack when he visited Suksiri and Sheikh at their flat on August 28, 2021.
Police analysed McKeever’s phone and bank account data which revealed there had been no activity since the night he was last seen on August 28, 2021.
Further enquiries also corroborated with what Suksiri had told a witness.
It emerged that she’d taken £200 worth of Frank’s jewellery to a pawnbrokers and it’s believed they used this money to buy the car used to dispose of the body.
Suksiri and Sheikh were re-arrested on October 20, 2022, and charged with Frank’s murder.
Over the past two years officers have made extensive efforts to find Frank’s body but he hasn’t been found.
Detective Inspector Laura Nelson, who led the investigation, said: “Today’s result was the culmination of over two years of painstaking detective work in which we did everything we possibly could to piece together Frank McKeever’s last movements and establish the motive for his murder.
“Working with colleagues from across the Met we were able to build a compelling case against Surie Suksuri and Juned Sheikh.
“Whilst today’s verdict has delivered justice for Frank McKeever, the result is bittersweet for his family. They have not been able to bury their much-missed brother and the main question of where he is remains unanswered.
“My team will continue to act on any information which may lead to the location of Frank and the charity Crimestoppers continues to offer a reward for information leading to his whereabouts.”
The pair will be sentenced at The Old Bailey on Monday, November 20.
Anyone with information that could assist officers in finding Frank’s body is asked to contact the investigation team by calling 020 8358 0300.